StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks tracked sideways in early trading on Wednesday as investors continued to weigh a post-pandemic economic recovery with inflation risks.

At 0819, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up just 1.14 points at 7,218.67.

Luxury fashion brand Burberry climbed 1.9% to £18.655 on announcing that it had poached Gianni Versace head Jonathan Akeroyd to be its new chief executive, effective 1 April.

Akeroyd will replace Marco Gobbetti in the hot seat.

Food delivery group Deliveroo advanced 0.6% to 292.2p, having upgraded is annual guidance for transaction values, but left is margin expectations unchanged.

Deliveroo forecast full-year gross transaction value growth of 60-70%, versus prior guidance of 50-60%. Third-quarter orders were 'resilient', post reopening, it said, amid a 'modest' fall in average order value.

Mining giant BHP reversed 1.6% to £19.772 after it upped its offer for Canadian nickel developer Noront Resources, trumping a rival bid from Wyloo Metals.

BHP was now offering C$0.75 per share, a 36% premium to its previous offer and a 7% premium to the Wyloo offer.

Chilean copper play Antofagasta dropped 3.9% to £14.185, having trimmed its production guidance, blaming adverse weather and lower grades at its Centinela concentrates operation.

Antofagasta's production in 2022 was now expected at between 660,000 and 690,000 tonnes, down from a prior estimate of 710,000-to-740,000 tonnes.

Property investor Segro fell 0.3% to £12.845 even as it said it had grown is rent roll and lowered its vacancy rate in the third quarter.

Segro said it signed £25.8 million of new headline rent in the three months through September, up from £15.8 million year-on-year. Its vacancy rate fell to 3.2%, down from 4.3% at the end of June.

Safety investor Marlowe rose 2.5% to 930p, despite it launching a share issue to raise £50 million to acquire compliance software group Riskwize for £25 million.

New shares in Marlowe were being offered at 907p each, with the remaining capital earmarked for further near-term bolt-on acquisitions.

Recruitment company PageGroup eased back 0.2% to 665p following news that chairman David Lowden would retire before its 2022 annual general meeting.

PageGroup had initiated a process to find a successor for Lowden, who had assumed the role in December 2015.

Shopping centre owner Hammerson shed 2.8% to 32.44p as it reported an improvement in rent collection, though footfall in all territories was still 15-20% below 2019 levels.

Hammerson said 70% of group billable rent had been collected for the fourth quarter to date, 'significantly ahead of any quarter since first-quarter 2020 at the same point in time.'

Challenger bank Metro Bank fell 1.9% to 114.23p as its deposit and loan values slipped slightly in the third quarter compared to the second.

The value of its loan book edged down to £12.32 billion at the of September, down from £12.33 billion at the end of June. Deposit volumes fell 1% to £16.41 billion.

Building materials group SigmaRoc firmed 2.5% to 104p after it said strong trading had continued through the third quarter, though it noted it was exposed to the energy and transport supply squeeze hitting the broader UK economy.

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